Top Trail: Oak Grove Walk, Balingup
The Oak Grove Walk is an easy 1.5 kilometre loop walk through the heritage listed Golden Valley Tree Park, the largest arboretum in Western Australia featuring tree species from around the world. The 60 hectare landscaped park is set in the picturesque hills of Balingup, three hours south of Perth.
About the Trail
The collection of trees began over one hundred years ago, amongst some of the loveliest rural countryside in the heart of the South West. The beautiful World Collection features many deciduous autumn colour favourites alongside rare and unusual specimens. Golden Valley’s Australian Collection showcases the wide diversity of Australian native tree associations from tall eucalypts through mallee woodlands to dry season deciduous species and a range of rare West Australian species. Many of the trees are labelled, with maps provided at the information shelters.
Given the different variety of trees and the Balingup climate, this is a walk for all seasons with spectacular colour being provided all year round. Other features include the restored Golden Valley Homestead (c 1890).
The Oak Grove Walk is one of six trails in the park which is a few minutes drive or an easy two kilometre walk out of town along the Bibbulmun Track which passes through the park as it heads south.
The Park is open seven days a week with free entry (however a donation is welcomed and will help with the work of the volunteers).
Need to Know
Set in the picturesque upper reaches of the Blackwood River Valley, Balingup is an inspiration to many artisans, from artists and crafts people to wine makers and providors of gourmet produce. Follow one of Western Australia's top tourist drives, or take to the walking trails to sample the riches this region has to offer. Take the two hour and 40 minute drive south of Perth to reach the forests, winding rivers, rolling hills, vineyards and lush orchards of Balingup. Or, enjoy the journey at a slower pace, walking the Bibbulmun Track - one of the world's greatest long distance trails, stretching almost 1,000 kilometres from Kalamunda in Perth to Albany on the south coast. The track meanders through Balingup's Golden Valley Tree Park - a six hectare collection of trees from around the world that forms the largest arboretum in Western Australia. Here, you can find beauty in every season, from moody winter mists, to spring blossoms and the golden glow of autumn leaves. Venturing further afield, the top rated Blackwood River Tourist Drive takes in some of the region's most scenic landscapes, fascinating historical landmarks, top fishing spots and pretty picnic areas. The best of the Blackwood's art, craft, handcrafted pottery, jewellery, sculpture, alpaca knitwear, herbal products, antiques and collectables can all be discovered in and around the village, not to mention a tempting array of cafes, bakeries, restaurants, fresh produce and local wines. You'll be just as spoilt for choice if you decide to make Balingup your base for a country escape, with a wide range of family-friendly accommodation and romantic retreats to choose from.